A Pacific Confederacy

Milwaukee Daily People's Press, November 30, 1860

Since Senator LATHAM arrived from California, it is announced that an address will be put forth by the members of Congress from the Pacific slope recommending to their constituents the formation of an independent Confederacy by the Pacific States and Territories.—The isolated position of that section of the Union; its completeness in all national material and resources, make the project apparently feasible, but there seems to be one little objection. That territory was purchased by the common blood and treasure of the whole people of the United States; if they choose to relinquish it it is all right, but if they do not, we do not know of any way by which the present inhabitants can throw off their allegiance to the general government and acquire an independent position among the nations of the earth, but by treaty, conquest or purchase.—The same objection lies to the secession of all those States comprised in the Territory acquired by the several purchases from Spain, Mexico, France and Texas, and those acquired by cession from the original thirteen States. If Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri may secede from the Union at will, what becomes of the rights acquired by the whole United States in the purchase of these several territories for which a valid and substantial consideration was paid out of the general treasury? The South has constantly clamored for their equal rights in the common territory of the United States—upon what principle of equal rights then do they claim the peaceable secession of those States from the Union? It was proposed a short time since by Senator SLIDELL, to appropriate $30,000,000 for the purchase of Cuba—did the Senator then hold to the doctrine which he now advocates of the right of Cuba to declare her independence of the United States the day after this money had been paid? The thing is lawless and piratical. These advocates of the right of secession deny the right of the people of the several organized territories of the United States to govern themselves in the Union and within the purview of the Constitution of the United States, because territories purchased by the common blood and treasure of the whole people belong of right to all the States in common; but insist at the same time upon the right of repudiating all these obligations by secession. Who can understand such doctrine?